Panic

Some days I have a long list of historical things I want to see. Other days I just want to make good time to wherever I’m headed next. Today I accomplished neither; my short day still took almost seven hours. As I adapt back to finding my own way, I make slower progress. A non-cycle path route also tends to be longer when staying off the main roads, because the roads go between small towns, which are not in a straight line. I’ve been cycling one gear-set up to make better time, because I have the power for it. My left knee now aches from the extra force, so I think I need to cut back on high gearing.

In leaving Montpelier, I stopped long enough to view the Arch du Triomphe (how many of these things are there?). I also came across the Roman aqueduct that used to bring water to the city.

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Leaving the city took longer than usual, as my path out of the city merged with the confluence of multiple major highways, and a lot of up and down. I finally found the cycle path outside of town that I had seen on the map. After that I had dedicated cycle path, or at least my own cycle lane, most of the day. I would lose the path every so often, but I lose the path when it’s following roads, and I optimize path the same way those setting up the paths do, so I tend to reencounter the paths anyway.

I ate lunch alongside the Bassin du Thau, a large enclosed bay.  Some recent storm(s?) sunk a number of boats in the bay. Lost my towel there as well; it was wet from yesterday, and I had hung it on the bike to dry. The towel blew away in the wind, and I didn’t notice, so didn’t pack it back up. Oh well,  one morereason I carry three shirts.

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My bike made a strange sound, and then an odd rubbing noise with each rotation. I first thought I had broken a spoke, and also confirmed the wheel rotated without contacting the brakes. I finally noticed a thorn in the tire, with a small part of the branch attached rubbing against the fender. I pulled out a thorn that looked like a cat’s claw. Either the touring tire lining or my own did the job – still unpunctured.

Another goal accomplished, making it back to the Mediterranean. Cycling on the road between Sete and Agde was the best part of the day, some 20 km of road right along the Mediterranean, with the beach or dunes for a view.

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Dozens of campgrounds exist in this area of the Mediterranean. I feel like I’m back in Switzerland. The first campground cost 25 euro + 9 euro for Internet. The second cost 33 euro, with free wifi. The host offered me a discounted rate of 25 euro for being a solo cyclist, at least until I pointed out that the rates on his sign changed three days ago to 19 euro. Campground rates change depending on season, and peak summer season ended last week. Takes me a bit to puzzle out rates, because Europe does day-month instead of month-day, but a range tends to look like 7-7-24-8. I got the lower rate, but no discount.

I outrun my good map day after tomorrow; I hope I can find the next map in Narbonne. Getting back in the habit of spending part of my evening reviewing the map for route planning for the next day. That lead to me still preparing dinner at dusk, and the mosquitoes managed to get a good chunk of me.

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